Photo Credit: Andy Morrison, Toledo Blade
In the second semifinal at the Frozen Faceoff on Friday, the No. 6 University of Denver Pioneers will skate against the No. 4 St. Cloud State University Huskies at the Target Center in Minneapolis. This matchup, of course, is a rematch of the
massacre series that took place at Magness Arena back in December.
As most will remember, that series was the culmination of a nightmare 0-4 stretch for DU during which the Pioneers were outscored by North Dakota and SCSU 20-5. In the series with the Huskies alone, Denver allowed 11 goals to SCSU’s potent offensive attack.
That weekend was just one little snippet in the middle of an altogether impressive season for the Huskies. SCSU’s offense is among the best in the country. Their solid defense is anchored by an incredible goalie in Charlie Lindgren. Combine all of that with impressive special teams, it’s a wonder the Huskies lost at all this year.
Overall Record: 29-8-1
NCHC Record: 19-6-1
Huskies By The Numbers
Team Offense (National Rank)
Goals Scored: 164 (T1st)
Goals per game: 4.32 (2nd)
Total Shots on Goal: 1,258 (8th)
Shooting Percentage: 13.0 % (1st)
Power Play: 38-129, 29.46% (2nd)
Shorthanded Goals Scored: 7 (T7th)
Team Defense (National Rank)
Goals Allowed: 82 (T11th)
Goals Allowed per Game: 2.16 (10th)
Total Shots Against: 1,069 (24th)
Save Percentage: .923 (11th)
PIM per Game: 7.21 (T2nd)
Penalty Killing: 90-110, 81.8% (T33rd)
F Kalle Kossila: 14G-34A-48P, 1.26 Points per game
F Joey Benik: 21G-23A-44P, 7 Game-winning goals
F Judd Peterson: 16G-7A-23P, 3 shorthanded goals
D Ethan Prow: 8G-27A-35P, 6 power play goals
D Will Borgen: 1G-13A-14P, 32 PIM (most on team)
G Charlie Lindgren: 28-8-1 (.770), 2.08 GAA, .926 SV%
- The Huskies have 16 players with 10+ points, 12 with 20+, 6 with 30+, and 2 with 40+.
- SCSU scored 4 shorthanded goals in one game against Colorado College during the last weekend of the regular season. 3 came on one 5 minute shorthanded stretch.
- SCSU is tied with Colorado College as the shortest team in all of Division I college hockey with an average height of 5’11”.
- Despite their NCAA-best offense, SCSU has just one player in the national top-ten in scoring: Kalle Kossila is tied for 7th with North Dakota’s Brock Boeser.
- Benik’s 7 game-winning goals puts him in a tie for 2nd in the country.
The stats speak for themselves. St. Cloud is good. Really really really good. It still blows my mind that CC took it to the Huskies in St. Cloud back in January when the Tigers won 5-2. Granted SCSU outshot CC 49-22 so the lopsided score probably didn’t reflect the true balance of play.
The Huskies have had 3 other head scratching losses this year, though. On top of their confusing loss to CC, they gave up 7 goals to then No. 6 Nebraska-Omaha en route to a 7-2 loss. They also were swept by Minnesota-Duluth in the penultimate weekend of the regular season which gave Denver a bit of hope for the #2 seed.
On paper, SCSU might be the best team in the country. They score at an almost inhuman rate, they stay out of the penalty box and they cash in when they get a power play. The Huskies’ scoring depth is simply unmatched. Whereas most teams have only one or two serious scoring lines, St. Cloud has three. That’s a coaching match-up nightmare. Jim Montgomery and his coaching staff have their hands full trying to prepare themselves for what they’re about to face on Friday.